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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is encouraging Pueblo-area contractors to attend a free lead-safe work practices training and certification course on Dec. 5.
The event is part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness of childhood lead exposure and to protect communities in Pueblo, Colo., and the United States as a whole, according to a Nov. 29 news release. It's set to be held 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Springhill Suites by Marriott at 150 S. Santa Fe Ave.
“While EPA has made great progress in reducing lead exposure in Pueblo through our work at the Colorado Smelter Superfund site, it’s clear that protecting community health requires a whole-of-government approach to address other sources of lead, including the widespread presence of lead-based paint in homes,” EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker said in the release. “Our new lead strategy takes a comprehensive approach to reducing lead exposure, and we look forward to further strengthening local partnerships, resources, and expertise to improve children’s health in Pueblo and throughout Colorado.”
Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment Environmental Justice Coordinator Joel Minor mentioned Pueblo has a rich history, but many of the homes were built early in the last century, according to the release.
"Because lead-based paint was commonly used during that time, our data in Colorado EnviroScreen shows that many neighborhoods in Pueblo may have lead paint," Minor said in the release. "This training can give contractors the tools they need to help families reduce their risk of exposure.”
“Although the federal government banned residential use of lead-based paint in 1978, it is still present in millions of older homes and remains a significant risk for families and children here in Pueblo and our agency is seeing higher blood lead levels in children living in older housing,” Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment Environmental Director Aaron Martinez said in the release.